Another fine performance from the band, a couple of missed cues aside. The Royal Concert Hall is a fabulous venue. This time I was at the front of the first tier, which offered a panoramic view of the stage and a decent sound mix.
The main change this evening was that Yes dropped ‘Children of Light’ from Keys to Ascension II, replacing it with ‘Wondrous Stories’. Good to have the latter well rendered live, but a shame to lose one of the new songs to achieve this.
I may be in a minority here, but I’d also liked to have heard ‘Fortune Seller’ or ‘Universal Garden’ from Open Your Eyes on this tour – to me they are the strongest tracks on the album.
Great to hear Steve Howe playing ‘Mood for a Day’, by the way. One of his staples, I know, but I love the classical and flamenco influence. Once again, the band did exceptionally well on the classic material, and it went down a storm.
I looked at the lists from Newcastle and Manchester this morning and it looks slightly different in that at Nottingham COL was dropped and they replaced it with a very nice version of Wondrous Stories. Jon introduced it by running his hand along the little tinkling bell tree and telling us he was woken up in Switzerland every morning with that sound, explaining that they had some 'Really tiny cows...' !
Having read various reviews of who might play and might not play keyboards, there was certainly an air of expectancy, alongwith going to see the band in a small venue again. Andy Kirk wrote a rave review of Starship Trooper with Adam - this was not to be in Nottingham and for me was the major disappointment of the evening - Igor was weak and the band did'nt seem to be together during this final number.
Igor on the night overall performed well with the exception of ST.
A new entry to the set list was Wondrous Stories - certainly the first time live in Nottingham and maybe the rest of the world - reasonably well performed.
The highlights of the evening were Siberian Khatru, America, And You & I, Heart of the Sunrise, RSoG, and I've Seen All Good People - (the latter should move into the encore pieces). Before anyone replies I know it is just before the break - replace it with Roundabout then let us all shout more!!!
Non event of the evening was a rather lack lustre Billy Sherwood - it seemed to me that he felt embarrased being on the same stage as the rest of the lads. He adds to the vocals but probably would not be missed if he was'nt there. Sorry Billy - I'm sure you will enjoy touring the UK though - watch those boots in Chris's local.
A number of the audience kept yelling for Turn of the Century.
Having had the pleasure of going to Yes concerts for 26 years, I feel it is time for Steve to play something other than Mood for a Day and the Clap or at least alternate and take the mickey out of some of his contemporaries - I may get stick for this but believe the time is now right. Chris could'nt really do anything other than the Fish so we will leave him alone.
It was 30 quid well spent and we all have our favourites - they can't play them all regrettably.
Set list: as per Manchester except: Wondrous Stories instead of Children of Light; Classical gas instead of Corkscrew.
The boy Khoroshev done good. They should give him the gig full time. Jon missed cue at start of Open Your Eyes; Steve missed Jon's cue at start of And You And I. (Mistakes are OK - it's part & parcel of the Live thing; if I want perfect Yes I'll play my Close to the Edge or Fragile CDs.)
Best (non-encore) reception: Revealing Science of God. Subdued reception: Owner of a Lonely Heart. Heart of the Sunrise is my all-time Yes favourite; this line-up did it justice. Good to hear Wondrous Stories again (first time this tour?); damn shame that Children of Light had to make way for it - thus nothing from Keys 1 or 2 (would have loved to have seen Mind Drive).
Light show: patchy; Sound: Steve's guitar too high in mix, Igor's keys too low.
Billy: Seems a nice enough bloke, but - really - why was he there?
Programme/Tour book: Crap value at £6.
T-shirts: Roger Dean design for Open Your Eyes tour. Bit ironic.
Bottom line: Bloody brilliant to see them in a small venue again. 8.5 out of 10.